In the last several years, search engine marketing has gone from desirable in a business’s marketing to absolute necessity. Consumers, B-to-B and B-to-C, use the web to research, find and validate the businesses from which they will purchase goods and services.
Search engine marketing is the promotion of a business on the internet with the objective of driving prospective customers to your website, landing page, or social media pages. SEM is a broad term that includes various techniques and processes, many of which are evolving rapidly as the internet grows. Search engine optimization, search engine advertising such as Google Adwords, contextual advertising, public relations and social media are all part of search engine marketing.
We view search engine marketing as a key piece of the bigger picture for our clients. A well-researched and crafted marketing plan will integrate traditional and new media to boost the results of each. Our expertise in SEM has been developed through the testing and tracking of our clients’ campaigns. Some of the things we measure, test, track and adjust to maximize results:
Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
Google Adwords is the name most people know when search engine advertising is mentioned. It’s often referred to as pay-per-click. We don’t just track impressions and clicks, we build processes that track metrics through the completion of the sale. Google changes and updates the pay-per-click process and rules regularly, requiring constant monitoring and adjustments to ads, bids, and keywords.
Automation has been a big buzzword in online advertising in recent years. When done properly it has great benefits and economies of scale. It’s also easy to “set it and forget it.” Without oversight your dollars can be quickly wasted.
The process of optimizing your website for search is akin to a moving target. Google makes hundreds of tweaks, mostly minor, to their search algorithm every year. With two-thirds of the search market, you have to play in their sandbox.
As search evolved and the search engines’ algorithms have become more sophisticated, a broader presence is required to establish relevance. Your internet profile is tied to multiple sources, not just your website. Search engine optimization now requires content development capability, public relations and social media experience, in addition to traditional website coding.
Winfield & Associates has developed an SEO process that complements and reinforces the client’s primary marketing. Using analysis software we chart page rankings, links, keywords, competitive websites and other data that influences your results in the search engines.
Reputation management is the process of controlling your image online. It’s been around for a while, but only recently has it come into the spotlight. Look up most definitions of search engine marketing and you won’t see reputation management mentioned. But that will change.
Has your business ever received a bad review online? Guess what? That’s search engine marketing. The only problem is that you don’t control the medium or the message. Every business occasionally makes a customer service error, and in today’s world, that unhappy customer can post an online review that makes you appear to be the devil incarnate.
Pro-actively encouraging your happy customers to post their experiences is search engine marketing because it influences search results. Searchers see a more representative picture of your business. That unpleasant review isn’t going away, but one bad review against many good reviews is far less likely to result in lost revenue.
We design and implement proactive reputation management programs for our clients. Our programs get your actual customers to leave honest reviews.
Contextual advertising is the placement of ads on sites targeted to your preferred audience. Site demographics or keywords drive the placement. Metrics are usually impressions and click rates. As with search advertising we build processes that track metrics through the completion of the sale.
Because public relations scales so nicely with social media it is a strong component in search engine marketing. The authority of sites that pick up releases and the potential for viral communication through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media can have a substantial influence on SEO and online marketing efforts.
Please contact us if you would like to learn how we help clients with their search engine marketing.